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AAA expects a record number of drivers to hit the road for Independence Day

While this year's total number of travelers is still below pre-pandemic levels, the number of people driving to their destination is expected to break records.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Despite the lingering effects of the pandemic and soaring gas prices, a record number of Americans are expected to travel by car this year for the Independence Day holiday. 

According to AAA, approximately 47.9 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home between June 30 and July 4. That's an estimated 3.7% increase over 2021 but will still fall short of the pre-pandemic numbers seen in 2019. 

In their travel forecast, AAA anticipates that 42 million people will be driving, a number that would set a new record for the holiday. This comes despite record-high gas prices, with a national average hovering around $5 per gallon. The previous record was set last summer when 41.8 million people hit the road. 

Air travel is still expected to fall far behind the record numbers of 2019. AAA believes around 3.55 million people will be flying for the holiday, which is still 9.3% below 2019.  These forecasts represent only a 1.5% jump from last year. 

AAA is also recommending some tips to ease your stress during the summer travel season, which is likely to be the second busiest since 2000. AAA encourages travelers to have backup plans, with average prices for flights, hotels, and car rentals remaining high. 

For drivers, it's recommended that you travel during off-hours to minimize your delays. AAA says the worst times to travel will be: 

  • 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 30 
  • 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. on Friday, July 1
  • 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 2 


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